U.S. Court Orders Google to Turn Over Data Stored on Overseas Servers

Today's topics include a Federal Court’s ruling that Google must comply with an FBI demand for customer data stored on Google servers located overseas, a Cisco report that predicts the number of mobile phones across the world will reach 5.5 billion by 2021, Microsoft’s preview of its Storage Service Encryption for Azure customers and Google’s release of its second Android patch of 2017 which fixes 58 vulnerabilities.

A federal court in Philadelphia has ruled that Google must comply with an FBI demand for certain customer data currently stored on Google servers located overseas.

The data belongs to suspects in two separate domestic criminal investigations. The account holders are U.S residents and the crimes in question happened solely within the U.S. Google has so far refused to hand over the requested documents citing a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a similar dispute involving Microsoft.

Like Google, Microsoft had refused to comply with a court order asking it to provide the government with data that happened to be stored in one of the company's servers in Ireland.

In that case, the appellate court had ruled in favor of Microsoft and said the company should not be forced to produce data stored overseas, because doing so would amount to an extra-territorial application of U.S. laws.

The 11th annual Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast (2016 to 2021) projects that there will be more people on Earth using mobile phones in 2021 than there are with access to running water.

The report stated that by 2021, more members of the global population will be using mobile phones than have bank accounts, running water, or landlines. Mobile data traffic shows no signs of slowing down.

Furthermore 4G will support 58 percent of total mobile connections by 2021 and will account for 79 percent of total mobile data traffic.

Machine-to-machine connections will represent 29 percent of total mobile connections. Mobile video will have the highest growth rate of any mobile application category and will represent 78 percent of all mobile traffic by 2021.

Microsoft has kicked off a preview of its Storage Service Encryption for Azure customers, enabling organizations to protect their cloud files with the added security of an encryption at rest feature.

"Microsoft handles all the encryption, decryption and key management in a fully transparent fashion," said Lavanya Kasarabada, a Microsoft Azure Storage program manager, in her Feb. 6 announcement.

"All data is encrypted using 256-bit AES encryption, also known as AES-256, one of the strongest block ciphers available." During the preview period, Storage Service Encryption can only be enabled on newly-created storage accounts using Azure Resource Manager, Kasarabada explained.

Google released its second Android patch update of 2017 on Feb. 6, providing users of the mobile operating system with patches for 58 different vulnerabilities, up significantly from the 13 flaws Google fixed in its February 2016 Android update.

In the new February 2017 update, 8 vulnerabilities are rated by Google as critical. Among the critical vulnerabilities is CVE-2017-0405, which is a remote code execution vulnerability in an Android graphics library.